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September 5, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 15   •   Oakland, CA
News in Brief

Sign of forgiveness
Sister Marietta Fahey, a member of the Sisters of the Holy Family from Fremont, right, signs the forehead of Sister Madeleine Meagher, a member of the Religious Sisters of Charity from San Pedro on Aug. 10 during the Leadership Conference of Women Religious assembly in Atlanta. The gesture asked forgiveness and reconciliation for any discrimination or hurt afflicted upon a person of color. Some 800 LCWR members met
Aug. 9-12.

Left, Sister Margaret Held, 68, and Sister Paula Merrill, 68.
Sisters committed lives
to vulnerable

NAZARETH, Ky. (CNS) — The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth commit in their mission statement to "risk their lives" in their ministry to the poor and vulnerable.

"You don't know what that's going to be like or look like," said Sister Susan Gatz, president of the religious order. "But now we are experiencing that."

Sister Paula Merrill, a member of the congregation since 1979, was found murdered Aug. 25 along with Sister Margaret Held, a member of the School Sisters of St. Francis in Milwaukee, in the home they shared in Durant, Mississippi.

Both women religious worked at the Lexington Medical Clinic as nurse practitioners, caring for the impoverished people of Holmes County, Mississippi.

The Mississippi Department of Public Safety announced late Aug. 26 that Rodney Earl Sanders, 46, of Kosciusko, Mississippi, had been charged with two counts of capital murder in connection with the deaths.

The bodies of the sisters, both 68, were found by police Aug. 25 after co-workers asked law enforcement to check on the women when they failed to arrive for work at the clinic in Lexington, about 10 miles from the house they shared in Durant.

Bishop Martin D. Holley

Bishop Jorge Rodriguez

Bishop Robert P. Reed

Bishop Mark W. O'Connell

Bishops named

Pope Francis appointed a number of new U.S. bishops:
Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop J. Terry Steib of Memphis, Tennessee, and appointed as his successor Auxiliary Bishop Martin D. Holley of Washington. In Denver, Pope Francis appointed Father Jorge Rodriguez, a priest of the Archdiocese of Denver, to be an auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese. And in Boston, two priests of the archdiocese were ordained as auxiliary bishops: Robert P. Reed and Mark W. O'Connell.)

Sisters end ministry

ST. LOUIS — The Little Sisters of the Poor are withdrawing from their ministry of caring for the elderly poor in the Archdiocese of St. Louis after 147 years of service. The sisters cited a decrease in sufficient vocations to effectively staff the residence in north St. Louis, in the spirit of the community's foundress, St. Jeanne Jugan. Meanwhile Little Sisters' Mother Loraine Marie Maguire, superior of the Little Sisters' Baltimore province, accepted the Gaudium et Spes Award from the Knights of Columbus. The Knights provided $1 million to fund the exhaustive legal battle between the Little Sisters and the Health and Human Services mandate contained in rules for the 2011 Affordable Care Act.

Location, location, location

WASHINGTON — The driving force behind Catholics' search for a new parish is location — most likely how close it is to their new home. They choose nearness over other considerations, including the quality of the homilies, according to a new Pew Research Center survey issued Aug. 23, "Choosing a New Church or House of Worship." The survey said 76 percent of Catholics reported "location was an important factor in their choice of parish, reflecting the geographically based system by which Catholics typically associate with a local church."

— Catholic News Service


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